Media mogul Oprah Winfrey and former President Bill Clinton were among the 15 extraordinary Americans awarded Wednesday with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
During a White House ceremony, President Barack Obama presented the nation’s highest civilian honors, which were created 50 years ago by President John F. Kennedy.
“These are the men and women who in their extraordinary lives remind us all of the beauty of the human spirit, the values that define us as Americans, the potential that lives inside of all of us,” Obama said during the ceremony, according to USA Today.
Other recipients included country music artist Loretta Lynn, women’s rights leader Gloria Steinem, baseball great Ernie Banks, former Washington Post Executive Editor Ben Bradlee, and pioneering astronaut Sally Ride.
Award recipients are people who have made meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.